Emily Fritz | A&E Editor
Three pillars of the Pittsburgh community were recently honored as Top 5 venues in USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards: the Andy Warhol Museum was recognized as No. 4 in “Best Art Museums,” Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh as No. 2 in “Best Children’s Museums” and the Heinz History Center as No. 2 in “Best History Museums.”
To celebrate their newest accolades, Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD), which supports each of the museums through annual operating grants, has created the “3 for Free” event, which sponsors general admission for all regular visitors through the end of August.
“We are extremely fortunate to have such great cultural institutions in this city, county and region, and thanks to the USA TODAY Readers’ Choice Awards, we know that many outside of this area agree,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
As if each of the feats weren’t impressive enough on their own, Pittsburgh was the only city that was recognized in the Top 5 across three different categories.
The Andy Warhol Museum is the largest single-artist museum in North America.
“We can’t think of a better way to celebrate this national recognition — and Andy Warhol’s birthday — than to welcome even more visitors to The Andy Warhol Museum during the month of August,” said Steven Knapp, president and CEO of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, the Children’s Museum serves as a doubly unique opportunity, as it partners closely with MuseumLab, where kids 10 and up can experiment with art and technology. Admission to MuseumLab is included with admission for the Children’s Museum.
“Making hands-on, innovative learning experiences accessible to all children and families is vitally important to the Children’s Museum,” says Jane Werner, Executive Director of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
In lieu of ticket costs, the Children’s Museum implores guests to participate in their ongoing Diaper Drive, which benefits Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank.
“It’s even more meaningful that the ‘3 For Free’ program is happening as we celebrate our 40th birthday.”
Although the Heinz History Center is the only museum of the trio that is not celebrating a milestone, the venue still boasts six floors of history, heritage and discovery education.
“The Heinz History Center is honored to be voted as one of the nation’s best history museums, and this initiative is the perfect way to thank our visitors and supporters this summer,” said Andy Masich, president and CEO of the Sen. John Heinz History Center. “We congratulate our fellow museums for being recognized and look forward to partnering with them and the Allegheny Regional Asset District.”
While admission is free of charge through the end of this month, each of the venues encourages guests to reserve tickets online at each location’s individual website.
Beginning in September, RAD will be sponsoring additional free-admission opportunities at a wider range of locations as part of their annual “RAD Days.”
“This is going to be a fantastic way to celebrate some of the best places to spend a day in the city,” said RAD board chair Daniel J. Griffin. “All three museums offer experiences that are uniquely Pittsburgh. When you combine them all, there will truly be something for everyone.”